Moon X Power 500 Front Light  £119.99

8/10

Sturdy little light with a powerful beam. Ideal for commuters and taking the long way home - just don't stay out all night

Weight 178g   Contact  www.raleigh.co.uk

by Gill Wheelwright   November 23, 2011  

Moon X Power 500

The Moon X-Power 500 looks neat and compact and feels pleasingly chunky yet light.

Mounting the light was easy, the mount is easy to adjust and fitted very solidly to the bars, and stayed firmly in position without having to be cranked up stupidly tight. It has some horizontal adjustment too, so you can point the beam towards the verge and make sure you're not going to dazzle any oncoming traffic. The release switch is easy to locate and operate, even in gloves.

The beam pattern has a bright centre spot, and throws light a good way up the road.It gives enough sideways spill to easily see what's on verges or lurking at the sides of the road. It switches on straight into overdrive mode, so if you're heading out into urban terrain, you need to remember to switch it down. The power cycle is not especially clever as off is included in the sequence, so you have to be quick on the draw if you want to go from flashing back up to overdrive. The power switch is flush with the casing and needs a firm press - even though it's illuminated in pimp-my-ride blue, but sometimes you need to keep looking ahead, not down, and in winter gloves I found it difficult to locate and operate.

The light has 5 power modes, overdrive, high, standard, low and flashing which you toggle through from overdrive down to flashing.

The 500 lumen overdrive setting was bright enough for twisty descents on rural lanes, though our run time test came in at 1h 30 mins, so slightly under the advertised 1h 40. However, the high setting gave plenty of light at 380 lumens for trundling along unlit back lanes at 14-16mph for 2h 30 mins (a bit more than the Light and Motion Urban 300). The flashing mode runs at the high setting and is pretty attention seeking during daylight or around town.

Run times are ideally suited to commuting, and good enough when you feel like taking the long way home - spare batteries are available for as little as £15, so if you wanted to head out on some longer rides you could easily slip a spare into your jersey pocket.

The flashing indicator to let you know when the battery is running down is very useful, if slightly pessimistic. On overdrive it started flashing after 45 minutes, giving you 45 minutes to get home. This could make you a bit blas about the amount of time you have, but on the plus side, the light switches to low power and then a low flash when the battery is spent, it doesn't just go out.

Build quality is great, the aluminium cap survived unscathed after being dropped, and the USB port cover closes very neatly and is easy to open. First time out was a 30 min ride into a biblical downpour, but the XP flashed away without skipping a beat. The USB feature is a plus for anyone who works in an office, on our PC it charged up within 5 hours - a plug in mains charger is also available for those lucky enough not to spend their working day welded to a computer.

 

Verdict

A sturdy little light with a powerful beam. Ideal for commuters and taking the long way home - just don't stay out all night.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Moon X Power 500 Front Light

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

High power rechargeable light 500 lumens

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

1 piece CREE XM-L (T6) high brightness LED

Quick release rechargeable lithium ion battery (3.7V 2300mAh)

USB rechargeable

Water resistant headlight with durable zinc alloy light cap

5 modes: Over drive, High, Standard, Low, Flashing

Quick release handlebar mount (fits 22 - 31.8mm)

Quick release helmet mount

Low battery charging and fully charged indicator

Automatic fully-charged cut-off system

High precision optical lens

Size 106 x 36.5 x 35.5

143.5g

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Feels sturdy, no rattles or flimsy plastic.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

You have to toggle from high to low settings, personally I'd prefer this the other way - if the road goes down I want to get full on as quick as possible. It also commits the cardinal sin of including 'off' in the cycle of settings.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

It's a standard QR clamp, but it works just fine. It comes with a shim for narrower bars.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

A torrential commute didn't phase it one bit.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Test times all came in slightly under the advertised time, but you get plenty of warning. Charges quickly.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Decent power at this price and enough runtime to be useful.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Feels built to last, and the aluminium cap mean it's resistant to knocks and bumps in the bike shed (or if you just happen to drop it on the floor...)

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

Good value at its RRP - and as it's available for as little as £80 in some places very good value.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well - it's a good all-round light.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

USB charging is convenient, looks neat and purposeful, good beamshape. Pleasingly chunky, if it was a chocolate bar it would be a Yorkie.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Button could be easier to operate with gloves on, 'off' should be removed from the power cycle.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes and she's already gone and bought one!

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

A versatile and powerful light at a very reasonable price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 163cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride: Dawes Horizon  My best bike is: Kona Haole

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, Audax

 

6 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Any chance of you chaps testing the Philips LED front light? Whilst it's not as bright as the Magicshine, the beam pattern is better and it's a robust single unit with 4 AA batteries & rechargeable via a USB socket.

posted by Dr_Lex [129 posts]
23rd November 2011 - 21:47

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I bought the Moon X Power 500 on the basis of the road.cc light comparator a few weeks back. I'm very pleased with it - the medium setting is more than adequate in town and lasts a few days, with the option of high power if I want to take a short cut through the park. Paid £80 from a cycle shop on eBay.

posted by Redrenojohn [9 posts]
23rd November 2011 - 23:43

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Looks a lot like the Serfas lights (http://www.serfas.com/product_details.asp?ID=899) I have the True 250 for the best part of a year and think it's absolutely brilliant, really can't fault it.

All the gear and no idea!

posted by JonMack [171 posts]
24th November 2011 - 15:57

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I bought this product but when I started using it on my commute (7miles with some bridalpath) I found the beam pattern to wide. If you position it so that the centre patch is far enough in front to see the peripheral cone of light blinds oncoming traffic. If moon could make the lens/reflecter so that instead of a circle/cone being produced, the top of the cone was flat in line with the centre bright spot it would be brilliant (no pun intended)

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [567 posts]
17th December 2011 - 11:05

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I wanted a single unit without a separate battery pack for town use & this suits me very well, glad I bought it - very solid & reliable so far, lasts a long time on a charge, great bike & helmet mounts included.

I agree that the H / M / L / Flash / Off push button cycle is mildly annoying. I mostly ride around urban using the attention grabbing flash mode & it's a drag to cycle through all the modes to get to it, turn it off accidentally, and then go through the modes again more carefully ...

Light seems very bright to me, I have it pointed at the road two bike lengths ahead to avoid blinding oncomers & I still see reflected flash off roadsigns 200m ahead.

posted by hirsthirst [14 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 10:35

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I have beeen using this for about 6 months now and it is brilliant. Lots of comments about how bright it is, really gives nobody any excuse for SMIDSY. I have teamed mine with a Blackburn Mars 4.0 just about the brightest rear light I could find; again a SMIDSY insurance policy. Doesn't stop SMIDSY but when you ask drivers why they didn't see you, you get lots of mumbling and looking at shoes Big Grin

I love the smell of cleats (mexican accent, you do the jokes)

posted by paulfrank [79 posts]
20th July 2012 - 11:31

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